Journal of Developmental Physiology vol:14 issue:6 pages:311-317
The vitamin D-dependence of renal calbindin D-28K and osteocalcin during the perinatal period was studied in fetuses (days 18 and 21) and neonates (days 2, 12, 17 and 22) of rats fed either a standard diet (0.85% Ca-0.7% P; "high Ca-P diet" rats) or a mildly Ca-P restricted diet (0.2% Ca-0.2% P; "low Ca-P diet" rats). Body weight and plasma calcium levels were identical in both groups. Plasma 1,25(OH)2D concentrations were markedly higher in the low Ca-P diet rats at all stages of fetal and neonatal life (in 22-day-old neonates: 536 +/- 58 pg/ml versus 126 +/- 12 pg/ml). 1,25(OH)2D concentrations increased between day 18 and 21 of fetal life, remained constant between day 21 of fetal and day 12 of neonatal life, and increased sharply between day 12 and 17 in both groups; after day 17, 1,25(OH)2D concentrations increased further in pups fed the low Ca-P diet. Renal calbindin D-28K reached peak concentrations on day 12 of neonatal life; calbindin D-28K levels were similar in the high and low Ca-P diet rats at all stages of perinatal development. Plasma osteocalcin levels increased steadily during the perinatal period; at most stages of perinatal life, and already from the fetal period was osteocalcin higher in the low Ca-P diet rats than in the high Ca-P diet rats (in 22-day-old pups: 1106 +/- 47 ng/ml versus 429 +/- 14 ng/ml). Femoral osteocalcin concentrations were also increased in fetal and early neonatal (days 2 and 12) low Ca-P diet rats, while the femoral calcium content and concentration of these rats were decreased in the late neonatal period (days 12, 17 and 22). These studies indicate that osteocalcin is vitamin D-dependent in the fetal and neonatal rat.